Catio Design Considerations
A few miscellaneous comments to consider when designing your own catio:
We chose to build the catio on an existing deck, covering a couple windows that could provide the cats access to both the indoors and the outdoors. Though the deck limited the maximum size of the catio, we felt the freedom of choice option (i.e., the cats can go in or out whenever they wanted) made this the most desirable location.
As is evident by the photo, I did have room to make the catio a bit larger; there are two reasons for the chosen size. For one, since the deck is not on ground level, I needed to leave a walk space to allow access to the catio on all sides for any needed repairs, etc. Secondly, I sized the catio to maximize use of standard size lumber to minimize costs.
Because I placed the catio against a building, mine is only 3-sided. The long wall is approximately 12 feet while the sides are 6 feet. Though cats would have access via the windows, I still needed to provide door access for humans.
When we received the building permit from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, I received the requirement that the enclosure be a double-enclosure with a one-foot space between the walls.
Your catio may be different than mine. Yours may be bigger or smaller. You may place yours on a deck or on ground level. Yours may be against a building or it may not be. You can make a catio to fit your own space and needs!
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